Cognitive dissonance theory - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Author Tutor Course Date Cognitive Dissonance Theory Introduction Cognitive dissonance theory is a communication theory adopted from social psychology as advanced by Leon Festinger. Cognitive dissonance details psychological conflict from holding two or more incompatible beliefs at the same time…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER91.8% of users find it useful
Cognitive dissonance theory
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Cognitive dissonance theory"

Download file to see previous pages Cognitive dissonance is a term employed to describe the state of having two or more conflicting cognitions simultaneously, as people experience new information in the context of their pre-existing knowledge (Festinger 10). Individuals experience psychological discomfort when they encounter information that challenges their beliefs or behavior. Discussion Cognitive dissonance theory pursues to explain how individuals minimize psychological discomfort and attain emotional equilibrium in the face of conflicting behaviors or beliefs. Cognitive dissonance theory (1957) holds that there are predictable responses that shape individual’s experience of discomfort or dissonance. Festinger advanced that if the new events or information support the pre-held beliefs, then the individual feels supported as the fresh stimuli is in harmony with the individual’s prior knowledge, referred to as a state of consonance. Individuals may accept the information as accurate but decline to make changes; individuals may also accept the information as accurate and make appropriate changes (Festinger 12). Similarly, individuals may attack the messenger as incredible, or rationalize the information in a manner that relieves the discomfort. The theory of cognitive dissonance in communication purposes that a communicator carries around a wealthy assortment of cognitive elements such as attitudes, knowledge, perceptions, and behaviors. Cognitions, in this case, detail bits of knowledge in their simplest form pertaining variety of thoughts, facts, attitudes, behaviors, perceptions, emotions, and values. Thus, people experience the pressure to change when undertaking things that they know are uncomfortable for them. What is consonant or dissonant for one individual may not necessarily be the case for another person. This hinges fundamentally on what is consistent or inconsistent within an individual’s psychological system. The cognitive elements that people hold act as an interrelated system whereby every element (cognitions) relate to one another in three ways; null or irrelevant, consistent or consonant, and dissonant/inconsistent relationship (Festinger 14). Cognitive system in this case represents a multifaceted interrelating set of beliefs, values, and attitudes that influence and affect behavior. When dissonance occurs, individuals may change their behavior, justify their behavior by altering the conflicting cognition, or justify their behavior by adding fresh cognitions. Festinger noted that the experience of dissonance hinges on three factors; the number of consonant elements, the number of dissonant elements, and the significance of each element (Perry 154). A significant dissonant belief results to a considerable cognitive dissonant compared to a less significant dissonant belief. Dissonance produces a tension or stress, which in turn creates pressure to change whereby the higher the dissonance, the higher the pressure to change. Tension reduction is automatically pursued by altering one’s evaluations by a certain degree. An individual opts to downplay the other so as to assure him/herself. In instances where there is dissonance, individuals attempt to minimize it, besides tending to avoid circumstances that cause additional dissonance. Leon Festinger (1919-1990) Leon Festinger was a social psychologist who advanced that individuals often experience a distressing mental state when they undertake things that contradict their opinions, or what they know. The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Cognitive dissonance theory Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words”, n.d.)
Cognitive dissonance theory Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words. Retrieved from
(Cognitive Dissonance Theory Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 Words)
Cognitive Dissonance Theory Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 Words.
“Cognitive Dissonance Theory Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Cognitive dissonance theory

Psychology Research Paper: Cognitive Psychology - Cognitive dissonance

...circumstances. Additionally, the numerous judgments, feelings and characters one has define the self-concept - illustrated as who we perceive ourselves to be and the way we portray our identity and character to other people (Pugh, Groth and Hennig-Thurau, 2011). Examples of Cognitive Dissonance One of the manifestations of cognitive dissonance is in terms of consumer behavior and economic consequences. Traditionally, rational decision-making on the part of consumers informs most of the economic theories in use. Cognitive dissonance shares the views of rational decision making on the consumers’ information about...
12 Pages(3000 words)Research Paper

Theory of Cognitive Dissonance

...? Theory of cognitive dissonance Lecturer Theory of cognitive dissonance Introduction Cognitive dissonance is a theory that has greatly changed the way in which psychologists analyze behavior as well as decision making. The theory starts with cognition. These cognitions are simple knowledge bits that can pertain to a wide variety of thoughts that range from values, thoughts and emotions. Cognition has little or no connections with each other and hence are unrelated. However some of these cognitions are...
11 Pages(2750 words)Essay

Cognitive Dissonance Impacts Repurchase Intention

...strategies. Business Mexico 1(10), p. 52. Fried, T. A. (2008). The relationship between psychological types, demographics and post-purchase buyer's remorse. United States: ProQuest. Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Faed, A., & Forbes, D. (2011). Impact of customer management system in improving customer retention: Optimization of negative customer feedback. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 72, p. 173. Gronroos, C. (1996). Relationship Marketing: Strategic and Tactical Implications. Management Decision, 34(3). Ghavami, A., & Olyaei, A. (2006). The impact of CRM on customer retention. Retrieved from...
5 Pages(1250 words)Research Paper

Theory of Cognitive Dissonance & apply it on abortion in USA.2

...? Theory of cognitive dissonance Lecturer Introduction There are various studies that were constituted to make sense of the theory and how it shapes the attitudes of different people. The theory had its fair share of popularity in the years that range from late 50s all through to the mid 70s whereby the popularity was threatened by the insurgence of ‘self’ theories that crowded the field around the early 80s. But due to the level of importance witnessed in cognitive dissonance, especially as the theory that has the ideas of fronting selective exposure to various forms of communication....
6 Pages(1500 words)Research Paper

Surveillance and intelligence

... History and Political Science 23 October Write a paragraph explaining cognitive dissonance and tell why critical thinkers need to understand the way it affects people- including ourselves- respond to domestic and international developments (30 points). Cognitive dissonance theory was first published by Leon Festinger in 1957. The theory has since generated a series of theoretical deliberations and research. Initially, Festinger in his theory defined cognitive dissonance as a psychological or motivational state that causes an individual to try to eliminate or reduce it. Festinger in his analysis of the cognitive dissonance theory gave the analogy of a fearful person, who could not find commensurate cause for his fear. The person’s... that...
4 Pages(1000 words)Term Paper

Cognitive Dissonance

...? DISSONANCE INDUCTION PREVENTION PROGRAM In the context of healthcare, researchers are focusing their study towards developing an understanding on the interrelatedness between physical body structure and psychological traits among individuals. One such study entails a trial on establishing the relationship between dissonance-inducing habits and eating patterns adopted by teenage girls. This test seeks to substantiate as to whether these dissonance-inducing practices decrease teenagers’ dreams of achieving their thin-ideal internalization goals, among other objectives. As opposed to an efficacy test, the article conducts an effectiveness test within a real world context. Procedures pertaining to the research will all be done... hypothesis....
3 Pages(750 words)Assignment

Cognitive Dissonance

...16 June 2009 Cognitive Dissonance The theory of cognitive dissonance suggests that two or more opposite ideas or beliefs held by a person may cause uncomfortable feelings or dissonance. The dissonance is a result of different attitudes, beliefs and learnt behavior patterns. People may change their attitudes toward disliking only when they have choice about reading the evaluation and would not later have an opportunity to meet with the target and explain their social or personal behavior patterns (Festinger 33). Self-perception theory makes the same prediction. Another person would presumably be most...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Cognitive Dissonance and Behavior other people (Pugh, Groth & Hennig-Thurau, 2011). References Awa, H. O., & Nwuche, C. A. (2010). Cognitive consistency in purchase behaviour: Theoretical & empirical analyses. International Journal Of Psychological Studies, Gordon, B. (2001). Cognitive social psychology: the Princeton Symposium on the Legacy and Future of Social Cognition. London: Routledge Hatfield, E. & Rapson, R. L. (2000).  Emotional contagion. The Corsini encyclopedia of psychology and behavioral science (Vol. 2). New York: John Wiley & Sons, 493-495. Forgas, J., Cooper, J. & Crano, W. (2010). The psychology of attitudes and attitude change, London: Routledge. Festinger, L. (2001) A theory...
3 Pages(750 words)Research Paper

Persuasion and Cognitive dissonance

...a communication and is faced with the decision of accepting or rejecting the persuasion, he may be expected to attempt to relate the new information to his existing attitudes, knowledge, feelings. The Cognitive response theory is a learning theory of psychology that describes human behaviour by understanding the thought processes. The assumption is that humans are logical beings that make the choices that make the most sense to them. According to Richard (53) came up with The Elaboration likelihood model (ELM) of persuasion, a dual process which argues that persuasion can occur when thinking is high or low, though the outcomes and process of persuasion are different in each...
1 Pages(250 words)Outline

Cognitive Dissonance

...dissonance creates anxiety in individuals which they tend to decrease by applying five basic techniques: responsibility denial, harm denial, victim denial, condemnation of the condemned, appeal to the higher loyalties (68). In the experiment described by Festinger and Carlsmith the assumption regarding cognitive dissonance influence was tested. The theory that if people are induced to say something that is opposite to their personal opinion under the influence of external force (whether these forces mean profit or threat) they tend to reduce this tension by changing their opinion to bring it with correspondence with what is done or said. The researchers aimed to find out...
2 Pages(500 words)Term Paper
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Cognitive dissonance theory for FREE!

Contact Us